BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -- College Football Bowl games are thought of by some as a reward for a good football season. A chance to suit up one more time, but at least 16 players who's teams are invited to bowl games don't look at it that way and won't play in their team's bowl game because of the fear of getting injured and hurting their NFL Draft stock.
That kind of thinking is not happening within the Texas A&M program. There are several players who will be playing on Sundays when they are done at Texas A&M. Trayveon Williams, Kingsley Keke, Eric McCoy, Tyrel Dodson, Landis Durham, and Jace Sternberger are first to come to mind, yet none of these players have said they will not play in the Gator Bowl against North Carolina State.
They understand the thought process of not playing and the possibility of injury, but feel stronger about finishing what they started and suiting up one more time as the 2018 Aggies.
'I think they are very close knit. I think they care about each other. I think it matters to them. And I think they want to finish something and I think they like where they are going and what they have started and how they are playing and the respect they are getting for how they compete in the game. They understand that they have each others back and some guys just like to play," said head coach Jimbo Fisher.
"It's really good and it kinda shows how much they care about this team and kinda how they carry themselves, but it is definitely a big time thing for us and it gives us a lot more confidence going into this game," added quarterback Kellen Mond.
"We have created a special bond that I have never had here. I think all the guys are ready to go out with a bang and seeing us go zero and four in bowl games, I think the seniors and everyone just wants to go out with a bang and just set a statement of what next year is going to look like," continued linebacker Tyrel Dodson.
"It's just a team first mentality around here. Anything that happens later on doesn't matter. It's about what we are doing here and now. That's what matters to us," said center Erik McCoy.
"I'm not a selfish person and especially with the way that it is at Texas A&M I definitely feel like this university has given me so much. So much support. So much moral support in everything. I definitely feel like I owe it to the Aggie network. I owe it to the fans. Owe it to the 12th Man to go out there and play. That has never crossed my mind. I love everybody. I love my team-mates. I love this university. I want to go out there and play," concluded running back Trayveon Williams.
The Aggies are hoping can will enjoy winning the program's first bowl game since their 2014 Liberty Bowl victory in Memphis over West Virginia 45-37.
The Gator Bowl will kick off on Monday December 31 at 6:30 against North Carolina State. The game will be televised on ESPN.